Castlethorpe Football Club

Castlethorpe Football Club, ‘The Friesians’ c.1951. Their president Mr. Bill Markham being a farmer, the club was named after his pedigree herd of cattle. They were the proud winners of the Buckingham Shield and the Division Two North Bucks League Cup.

Back row left to right: Jimmy Mills, Reg West, Paddy Mullins, Alfie Collyer, Les Ward, Fredrick Chilton, Jack Baxter, Bob Weston, Les Brownsell, Maurice Weston.
Centre row: John Gray, Mick Paris, Stan Brownsell, Fred Lane, Joe Russell, of Hartwell (goalie), Vic Old, Jack Wilson, Ron Bates, Lol Hart, behind, Frank Freeman (trainer), Cliff Markham, behind Bert Tapp, Bill White.
Front row: George White, Manny Crick, Desmond Chilton, Francis Hill, Mr. Bill Markham (President), Bert Garratt, Viv Old, Ronnie Sainsbury.

UNBEATEN North Bucks League champions – Castlethorpe F. C. 1954

Back row: Bert Tapp, Frank Johnson, Vic Old, Roy Virco, (goalie) M. Smith, Gordon Bryan, (Buddy) F. Hill, S. Scott (trainer)
Front row: Ray MacPhereson, Viv Old, Bert Garratt, Ron Kelly, Roy Payne

Northampton Mercury 10 September 1954

[Note: Part of this article was obscured in the crease of the bound book it was in - making it difficult to transcribe in places.]


Officials of Castlethorpe Football Club had a worried expressions on their faces last Saturday morning, for they were faced with the possibility of having to cancel their first home match of the season  against Stony Stratford Town.
All of last season’s players had re-signed, with the exception of a couple of ’’old hands” who had hung up their boots. But owing to holidays, illness and commitments, it looked as if the league champions would be unable to scrape up a team, some deputies were found including secretary Bert Tapp, and the game was on.

Stony the Cinderella club of the league—are really the side to run around looking for 11 men, but on this occasion it was their opening match of the season, and on paper they appeared to have a capable side. They has high hopes of being able to gain their first victory over Castlethorpe in the opening exchanges it looked Was if a tight match might ensue. When only 20 minutes  had gone however Robertson, of Castlethorpe, tried a shot from the right wing which ...lously going well wide.

…. back Ken Cleaver, from …, was running in to …. his goal and touched the ball with his hand, but with enough force it to change its direction. The damage had been done …. and from the penalty spot Bert Garratt slammed in the first goal.

Bucked by success

Castlethorpe were bucked by success and their forwards went into attack. Stony equal in defence and mid-field but the forwards did not … the way to gaol in contrast the home forwards, who were …. to have a go at any opportunity .
Cleaver soon had a chance to … himself, when he cleared … line in a goalmouth … At half-time, Castlethorpe were still leading by one goal, due mainly to some saves from Stratford goalkeeper Rogoff, who kept the score

In the second half of the home side gradually ran the Stony defence of its feet, and centre-forward Botwood scored a hat-trick for Castlethorpe a 4 – 0 victory. Castlethorpe have begun the season in startling fashion again they have won both their opening matches and hope to repeat last season’s success, when they won the league championship without being defeated. the club is one of the best in the league. Local farmer the late Mr. W. D. Markham was the instigator four years ago and if it had not been for his encouragement and support the … could never have attained the heights it has in such a short period of time.

Promotion meant

In the first year the team was …..ed of local men who played Division 3 of the North Bucks League and finished in third position. With the club on a good …. Mr. Markham, who was …… and the officials, were ….ed that Castlethorpe should … better football and applied for promotion to Division 2.

The application was successful and Castlethorpe was promoted. The club’s officers realised they would have to seek outside support and players were signed on from around the district. In … a reserve team was … to compete in Division 3.
… was here that the practical help from Mr. Markham was most appreciated. He had loaned the club part of one of his fields and machinery to keep it in shape and gave help in many other ways. It was only right that the club should soon be known as the “Friesians,” for they played in black and white shirts, and Mr. Markham had a pedigree herd of these cows which are the pride of the village.

The foresight of the officers paid dividends for the club won the second division in its first season, and so were promoted to the premier division. In this section, too, they looked like repeating their previous year’s form, but had to be content with runners-up position loosing to the champions, Deanshanger, who had then completed a hat-trick of wins.

Last year the Friesians had one of their best seasons which included winning the Division 1 championship with an unbeaten record, and the Stantonbury Charity Cup; getting through to the divisional final of the Intermediate Cup—beating Wolverton on the way; reaching the finals of the Buckingham Charity Cup, and the Leighton Buzzard cup.

This year the club has entered all those competitions again with the exception of the Leighton Buzzard cup. Since the death of Mr. Markham, Mrs. Markham has been the president, while her son Cliff is one of the main-stays behind the scenes.
The secretary is Mr. Bert Tapp, who has never missed a committee meeting since the club was formed. He was a committee man for the first two years and has been secretary for the past two seasons. The chairman is Mr. R. West, treasurer Mr. M. Paris, and there is a keen committee of 20, all eager to keep the club in its present position – on top of North Bucks football.

Back row: Jack Wilson, Ron Bates, Joe Russell (goalie), Viv Old, Stan Brownsell, Alfie Collyer
Front row: Albert Crick, Des Chilton, Buddy Hill, Bert Garratt, Vic Old

1956-7 in the garden at Manor Farm
Back row: Den Willett, Brain Ransome, John Snow, Roy Virco, Jack Wilson, unknown, unknown, Jim Carpenter
Front row: Ray Belton, Alan Brownsell, Bert Garratt, Dicky Lynch, Buddy Hill

League Division Three c.1957

Back row: Mr. Hancock, John Gray, unknown, … Russell, Roy Virco, Dicky Lynch, Jack Wilson,
unknown, Den Willett, Bert Tapp, Mick Paris, Jim Carpenter
Front row: unknown, Alan Brownsell, Buddy Hill, Bert Garratt, Raymond Belton

Back row: Mr. Dollings, John Gray, unknown, Malcolm Pittam, Tom Booth, Don Canning, unknown, Den Lockwood, Fred Willett
Front row: Edward Booth, Fred Andrews, Bert Tapp, Bob Jelly, Raymond Belton

Castlethorpe Football Club (The Friesians ) North Bucks League Division 1 winners - 1966.

Back row L-R: Ken Evans, Richard Hart, Terry Ratcliffe, Keith Belton, Shaun Warr, John Fincher, Roy West,
Front Row L-R: Dave Ashton, Richard King, Norman Marriott, Adrian Pittam, Robin Hart, John Synnott.

Empire Stadium Wembley football tickets 1942/3
Empire Stadium Wembley football tickets 1942/3 used by Cyril Pittam
during the Second World War